Thomas Semik II, (pictured above left) is originally from Detroit. He joined AJ Foyt Racing in 2009 as a mechanic. He was named crew chief of the No. 4 ABC Supply Chevrolet (based in Texas) in the middle of the 2017 season. We asked him a few questions…
How did you get involved in racing? Where did it start for you?
I was first exposed to racing as a fan watching the Formula 1 Detroit Grand Prix in the '80s. After graduating from high school, I enrolled in the Jim Russell British Motor Racing School at Donington Park, England. To offset racing expenses and gain more "seat time", I signed up for a Mechanics Training Program (MTP) in California where i learned how to work on the race cars that I raced. Years later, realizing that I didn't have the money or the talent, I turned to the mechanics side of motorsports and worked my way up through the lower formulas to current day Indy car.
What does your job as a crew chief entail?
Basically I'm the communication link between management/engineering and the crew. I provide the mechanics with the info and direction needed to make things run efficiently - at least that the plan.
What do you do on race day?
During pit stops, I'll change the outside front tire in about 5 seconds and execute front wing adjustments if necessary. Once the pit service is complete and safe, I'll send the car.
How long have you been a mechanic and then a crew chief?
Started wrenching full time in 1999. First starting working in ChampCar/IndyCar in 2005. In fact, my first ChampCar event, I worked on a third car entry for Walker Racing in Australia, driven by Will Power, which happened to be his first ChampCar start. I've been with Foyt Rac